The intervention measures consisted of medical
treatment either at the PHC or through referral to the Govt.
Rajaji Hospital, Psycho-social management (counselling and
supportive psychotherapy), arranging of nutritional and economic
support, offering the principles of health education and organising
rehabilitation within the existing facilities. These are incorporated
in the Training Programme to the PHC medical personnel and
Multi Purpose Health Workers which have been referred to already.
It is not to be assumed that all old people
are sick. In a study of 1598 subjects aged 60 + living in
200 villages in Tamil Nadu, Krishnan Nair (1980) reported
on their health status as measured by mobility, sensory impairment,
incapacity, self-perception of health and physician utilisation.
Vast majority of the elderly, more than 4 in 5 failed to rate
themselves as in good health. Health pessimism appears to
be a predominant feature of the elderlies.
The subjects were attending either the main
PHC at Kallandiri or its sub-centres. MPHWs made routine visits
to the homes of these patients as well as those who did not
attend the PHC enquiring about the progress, doling out the
drugs and imparting general information on health education.
The treatment at the PHC was carried out
through the special Geriatric Clinic of the ICMR functioning
in the Primary Health Centre. 73% of the subjects were treated
at the PHC level, while 18.5% were referred to specialists
at the Govt. Rajaji Hospital; 1.1% of the subjects were treated
as inpatients in the Govt. Rajaji Hospital for physical illness,
while 0.5% as patients for psychiatric ailment. The conjoint
treatment namely by the PHC staff and the visiting specialists
was offered to 6.9%. The efficacy of the training imparted
to the PHC MOs was testified by the fact that almost 3/4ths
of the sample were managed at the PHC level.
Utilisation of Eye Camp Services
Dr. G. Venkatasamy, Director, Aravind Eye
Hospital offered services for examination of the subjects
and cataract extraction for those who needed. The staff of
the Aravind Eye Hospital conducted special Eye camps at Kallandiri
PHC, Othakadai and Karupayeeorani sub-centres. The services
of the eye camps conducted by Aravind Hospital elsewhere in
the PHC area during the intervention period were also utilised
by the subjects. Of the 395 subjects utilising the geriatric
clinic, 178 subjects (45.1%) availed of the consultation services
in these camps, while 54.9% did not (as elicited in sub-sample
survey II). In the latter category, the reasons offered were